Portland Restaurants

These days, rising-star chefs and the foodies who adore them are flocking to Portland. In this playground of sustainability and creativity, many of the city's hottest restaurants change menus weekly—sometimes even daily—depending upon the ingredients they have delivered to their door that morning from local farms. The combination of fertile soils, temperate weather, and nearby waters contributes to a year-round bountiful harvest (be it lettuces or hazelnuts, mushrooms or salmon) that is within any chef's reach.

And these chefs are not shy about putting new twists on old favorites. Restaurants like Le Pigeon, Beast, Ox, Ned Ludd, Natural Selection, and Aviary have all taken culinary risks by presenting imaginatively executed, often globally inspired fare while utilizing sustainable ingredients. There’s a strong willingness in and around Portland for chefs to explore their creative boundaries.

Menus frequently extend across nations and continents. First-time visitors to Portland always seem to be impressed by the culinary scene’s international diversity, especially when it comes to Asian and Mediterranean fare, but you’ll also find outstanding examples of Peruvian, Russian, regional Mexican, and dozens of other ethnic restaurants. Of course, seafood is prevalent, with chefs regularly taking advantage of the availability of fresh salmon, albacore, halibut, crab, oysters, and mussels from the rivers and the Pacific Ocean.

Most of the city's longtime favorites are concentrated in Nob Hill, the Pearl District, and downtown. But many of the city’s most exciting food scenes are on the East Side, along Alberta Street, Mississippi Avenue, Williams Avenue, Fremont Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Burnside Street, 28th Avenue, Belmont Street, Hawthorne Boulevard, and Division Street, and tucked away in many neighborhoods in between. Serious food enthusiasts will definitely want to make some trips to some of these vibrant, if out-of-the-way neighborhoods.

Bar and restaurant culture greatly overlap in Portland, and many eateries around the city stand out as much because of their carefully curated beverage programs as for their food. Expect to find wine, craft beer, and cocktail lists that rely heavily on Northwest products, and also note that many of the top cocktail lounges, brewpubs, and wine bars we included in our Nightlife and Performing Arts chapter also serve excellent tapas and bar snacks.

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  • 1. Ava Gene's

    $$$ | Southeast | Italian

    Chef Joshua McFadden's fantastic Roman-inspired Italian eatery ranks among the top tables in town both in popularity and quality. Capsule-shape...Read More

  • 2. Castagna Restaurant

    $$$$ | Hawthorne District | Pacific Northwest

    Enjoy artful Pacific Northwest cuisine—like grilled halibut, kohlrabi, and mussels, or summer beans, chanterelles, wilted sorrel, and roasted...Read More

  • 3. Coquine

    $$$ | Southeast | French

    A sunny neighborhood café serving breakfast and lunch daily, Coquine blossoms into a romantic, sophisticated French–Pacific Northwest bistro...Read More

  • 4. Higgins

    $$$ | Downtown | Pacific Northwest

    One of Portland's original farm-to-table restaurants, this classic eatery, opened in 1994 by renowned namesake chef Greg Higgins, has built...Read More

  • 5. Irving Street Kitchen

    $$$ | Pearl District | Modern American

    You might come to this hip Pearl District restaurant set inside a gorgeously transformed warehouse building just because you heard about the...Read More

  • 6. Langbaan

    $$$$ | Southeast | Thai

    Guests reach this tiny, wood-paneled, 24-seat gem with an open kitchen by walking through the adjoining PaaDee restaurant and pushing open a...Read More

  • 7. Mediterranean Exploration Company

    $$ | Pearl District | Mediterranean

    Developed by cookbook author and celeb-chef John Gorham, this tribute to Mediterranean cuisine occupies a handsome former warehouse on historic...Read More

  • 8. PaaDee

    $ | Southeast | Thai

    Adjoining the more celebrated, reservations-only sister restaurant Langbaan, PaaDee serves some of the freshest, most flavorful Thai food in...Read More

  • 9. Pazzo Ristorante

    $$$ | Downtown | Italian

    The aromas of roasted garlic and wood smoke greet patrons of the bustling, street-level dining room of the Hotel Vintage. The unprepossessing...Read More

  • 10. Aviary

    $$ | Alberta District | Asian

    Eschewing many culinary conventions, this visionary Alberta Street eatery serves up innovative dishes that sometimes push boundaries but consistently...Read More

  • 11. Bluehour

    $$$ | Pearl District | Mediterranean

    This see-and-be-seen Pearl District institution, with its high ceilings, white tablecloths, long sweeping curtains, smart staff, and small but...Read More

  • 12. Meriwether's Restaurant

    $$$ | Nob Hill | Pacific Northwest

    The 5-acre Skyline Farm just 12 miles away grows all the produce for this high-end, yet quaint and unpretentious restaurant on the edge of the...Read More

  • 13. Super Bite

    $$$$ | West End | Modern American

    The acclaimed chef duo behind Ox, Greg Denton and Gabi Quiñónez Denton, present an artfully plated selection of globally inspired treats in...Read More

  • 14. Ración

    $$$ | Downtown | Spanish

    In the same shiny West End condo tower that's home to the downtown branches of Blue Star Donuts and Lardo, this sleek space specializing in...Read More

  • 15. Roe

    $$$$ | Southeast | Seafood

    With its unmarked entrance in the back of lively restaurant Block + Tackle, and just a handful of tables and a few counter seats overlooking...Read More

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